Monday, September 10, 2012

Lemon and Olive Chicken

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Everybody Loves Raymond.  My love of the reruns is well documented both here and basically every weekday night of my life.  Even typing this, miles away from Ben, I can hear his loudly resounding "duh".  I like to think my love of Everybody Loves Raymond is one of the quality he loves about me...

So when I decided to try this lemon chicken recipe from this year's January Cooking Light issue, I sort of, kind of had a secret day dream that I was making lemon chicken just like Deb.  For those of you not caught up on Everybody Loves Raymond reruns (might I add, what is wrong with you??), the first dish Debra cooked for Ray was lemon chicken.  In fact, really the only dish Deb could really cook was lemon chicken.  I got sort of excited that maybe, just maybe, I had found my version of lemon chicken.

More than likely, what Deb was cooking did not have a Mediterranean riff on it.  I suppose we'll never know.  But mine did, with shallots, olives, rosemary and oregano.  It was yummy.  Ben liked it, thought it was a switch up from a normal baked chicken meal.  I enjoyed it too.  It came together pretty quick, baked while I cleaned up the kitchen and the leftovers heated up fantastically.  Not a keeper though, which may be my fault for not using fresh herbs.  Just a good, solid Wednesday night meal.

Lemon and Olive Chicken
Adapted from CL Jan. 2012

2 tsp. lemon zest (~1 lemon) 
1/4 c. lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
15 oil-cured olives, pitted
1 large shallot, sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper, olive oil to grease

In large bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil and garlic.  Add chicken, flipping to coat.  Let marinade for 15 minutes, occasionally flipping chicken around in marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Thinly slice shallot and lemon.  Halve olives (or pit them, I usually end up halving when I pit anyways...)  Very lightly grease ceramic baking dish (9x13) with olive oil.  Lay chicken in single layer across bottom.  Pour any remaining marinade over top.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano and rosemary.  Spread lemon slices, shallots and olives evenly over top.

Bake 30 minutes, until chicken is just before done.  Remove from oven and preheat broiler.  Broiler chicken for 5-7 minutes until chicken is browned and cooked through.

We served on a bed of orzo with a side of steamed green beans!

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